Revolutionary Church Members?

February 3, 2006

George Barna’s new book Revolution intends to be a provocative look at what the core and kernel of Biblical Christianity is really all about, when it is pried out of its accumulated cultural casing–formal church membership, formally recognized elders in authority, etc.  Unfortunately, Mr. Barna throws the baby out with the bathwater.  Networks of friends with social class or hobbies in common, shared para-church ministries, and other such commonalities will not, I fear, evidence the Christian love of one another–including those NOT so similar to us–as might be hoped.  But can I say something good about the book?  Yes.  Barna’s Seven Passions of Revolutionaries (on pp. 22-25 of the book) are all good (depending on how the first one is defined).  Here they are:

1) Intimate Worship

2) Faith-Based Conversations

3) Intentional Spiritual Growth

4) Servanthood

5) Resource Investment

6) Spiritual Friendships

7) Family Faith

I would like to see biblical, sincere engagement with God.  I have often commented that in our congregation, I want to see spiritual conversations become normal and regular.  I desire people to be intentional and DELIBERATE about their growth as Christians.  I pray that I and the other elders in our congregation model servanthood, honor it, and are emulated in it.  At CHBC, we pray for and rely on serious resource investments of time, money & talent.  We are deliberate about encouraging and forming spiritual friendships.  And we very much want to cultivate the Christian faith shaping and being taught in our families.  In all these ways, I wondered, reading Barna’s book, if he had only ever been to evangelical congregations that were typified by passionless members, and if he would have written his book if he had been a part of a congregation which found these 7 passions as typical marks of healthy church membership.